Rabies: Vampires and Werewolves

Rabies, HIV, Hepatitis, Tetanus can all be spread through bites, animal or human. There are of course insect bites that will give you all kinds of diseases: yellow fever, dengue fever, Lyme disease, plague, malaria, etc. But I’ll focus on Rabies, for now.

The discovery of the cause of rabies didn’t occur until the early 1800’s and didn’t get a vaccine until Louis Pasteur figured things out later that century.

I have to wonder about the disease, Lyssavirus (named after Lyssa, the Greek goddess of insanity and rage) and its symptoms, in one variant, madness and an odd psychological fear called hydrophobia.

So, you, a carrier, bite someone and your victim becomes infected, insane with madness, and cringes from the sight of some mundane substance. Sound familiar?

(Seems that Lyssa and Lycaon, the Greek king who was cursed by Zeus to become the first werewolf, could have made the perfect couple.)

Hey, Bram Stoker, did you read about rabies in the London libraries around the 1890’s? Two legends, vampires and werewolves, both being vectored by saliva (viral infection) passed during a bite. Hmm, a curious coincidence.

Image courtesy: http://www.horror.land

5 thoughts on “Rabies: Vampires and Werewolves

  1. My first awareness of rabies was as a child, watching Old Yeller. I was terrified. Good job Covid isn’t passed through biting–you’d have scores of nutcases threatening shop owners with the gnashing of teeth.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The impetus for this post was the realization that all authors, even so called original ones, based much of their context on existing works, facts and speculations. On the shoulders of giants, and all that.
      The one I have yet to deduce her origin story/context is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein’s Monster. But, I suspect, like Dracula, she had much of the story made available to her through the sensationalized news of electricity, grave robbing, grave-bells, etc.
      We all rely, heavily, on our environments for context.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shakespeare’s only original play was Twelfth Night and evening that played heavily on the tropes of his other work! The underlying premise of Frankenstein is that man (or woman) should not aspire to play God. The full title is The Modern Prometheus, so inspired from the Greeks as a starting point😊

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s